Thursday, November 18, 2010

Just Economical

Japanese ATMs might be inconvenient in terms of operating hours but they sure do plenty of wonderful things. I can't say I've used their plentiful features very much. It's good to know they exist for when I require them though. I have two bank accounts right now because my car insurance is setup through another bank. The monthly cost is automatically deducted like all my other monthly bills except gas. I don't live anywhere close to this bank branch but there is an ATM right out front of the grocery store in my village for this bank. Best part is that I can deposit money straight into this account with cash. The little door pops open and you drop the bills inside. Instantly added. Many ATMs even have features where you can dump your coins in as well. If that wasn't nice enough you can send wire transfers and do most general banking tasks with an ATM. Too bad my main bank doesn't have an ATM located in my village. There is a tiny branch office where I do withdrawals manually with paper forms. I like walking in and talking to the people as I write out my information. The operating hours are terrible so I can only go on Wednesday afternoon when I don't have to work. It makes me be more careful with my money.

Now that you have been bored to death about banking. I have a few other comments.

I received my shutter release cable for my camera today. I'm really looking forward to playing around with this. When I looked at my camera manual (yes I actually read it quite often) I thought such a device was silly to purchase. It now makes more sense why you might want one. We shall see how pictures turn out eventually.

A cassette adapter, for playing an audio device in the car, also came in the package. I crossed my fingers on this purchase hoping for something that wasn't the worst in Chinese consumer electronics quality. I ran out to the car to have a test run with it and the first thing I hear is this harsh sound of grinding plastic and clicking. I tried to talk myself down after almost flying into a fit of mental rage by rationalizing I can just play the music louder and not notice. NO, this terrible noise was not going to disappear so I decided to investigate the inside of the adapter. When I popped it open I was greeted with the most useless product design I have ever seen. I should have taken a picture of this before I put it back together because it is so ludicrous anyone would do such a thing. There was a set of about 3 or 4 plastic gears that served absolutely no purpose other than to make noise and probably convince you to try buying another adapter. One of the gears was so loose that it was just clanking and banging around the inside of the cassette. I thought cheap Chinese knock offs were supposed to use the most minimal amount of parts. I'm so disappointed. Anyway, after removing some parts the adapter was much more quiet and did it's job appropriately. I felt much better psychologically knowing I didn't waste my money.

Now I can finally listen to something other than same 2 CDs that have been in my car for 2 months. Yoko gave me a CD before she went back to Japan and I brought it with me when I moved here. I didn't like it the first time I listened but when I was forced to listen without any other options, I came to like almost every song on it. Funny how that works, right?

Can't say I will miss the scarcity. Good riddance.

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